Ikariam Research Guide by Mayhem
I wrote this two years ago, I think it more or less still applies. So if you?ll allow me to be lazy, allow me to copypasta.
One thing I will say, though.. my view of ranged units has changed.. I don?t think archers or even carabineers too terribly important. Oh, and also I don?t find SGs too important either. It?s generally ? generally ? agreed that Hoplites are better for defense, SGs for offense. So if you?re just building an army primarily for defense.. then might as well stick with those hoplites.
Quite simply, your path should go as so:
Paper ?> Wine Culture ?> Foreign Cultures ?> Experiments ?> Law of the Lever ?> Letter Chute ?> Spirit Level ?> Canon Casting
Which more elaborately is to say:
Research science until you reach paper, then switch to
economy till you reach wine culture, then
seafaring till you reach foreign cultures, then
science till you reach experiments, then
military till you reach law of the lever, then
science till you reach letter chute, then
economy till you reach spirit level, then
military till you reach canon casting, then?
..Where ever you want to go from there. Please note, you?ll probably research other things along the way; certain disciplines have requirements that must be met before you can research them. Invention, for instance, requires Professional Army. So while you may be researching under science, you?ll briefly switch over to military until Professional Army is finished.
Why yes, I do recommend this path for certain reasons.
By starting with science, you?ll research Well Digging which adds satisfaction and housing space to all your colonies. Then Paper gives the first boost to research, a meager, but helpful, 2%
Wealth is obvious as it is what allows you to mine your luxury resources. And you should be mining these while waiting for expansion. Wealth also allows you to build Trading Post, which I believe everyone should have at least one.
And then wine culture is right after wealth, which is needed to build taverns.
Switching to Seafaring afterwards, you?ll gain Expansion, which is what allows you to start forming additional colonies! Woo. And then Foreign Cultures is what allows you to join an alliance.
Switching to Science, Professional Army will be a requirement along the way, which allows you to build the ever useful Phalanx (Hoplite), which will be an essential element in your defense, a vital unit even after possessing the knowledge to build all units. And swordsmen to cover your flanks.
I recommend getting to Experiments so that you can use crystal to further push along your research. Experiments allows you to complete a research by dumping crystal into your academy.
Now switching to military so you can build catapults with Law of the Lever, and archers with Ballistics. The new combat system implemented in 3.2 makes ranged units a vital part of your defense. (Yes, marksmen are quite likely better, but gunpowder is a long way off yet.) Catapults will also prove quite useful in defense.
Once you have ranged units, now on to science for the last essential element of your defense. Gyrocopters. Again, the new combat system has changed things.. Gyrocopters should be an essential part of everyone?s defense. Without them, you?ll be subject to the wrath of bombardiers unabated.
They come with Bird?s Flight. Letter Chute is immediately afterwards and should be researched because it lowers the cost of your scientists. If you employ 600 scientists, after researching Letter Chute, suddenly you?ll have 1800 more gold an hour. Cha-ching.
Once you?ve reached this stage, things are more open to interpretation. The things discussed above are pretty standard in my not so humble opinion. You?re going to want and need ranged units, so get those archers. And then you?re going to need gyrocopters, so get that Bird?s Flight. And then Letter Chute is immediately afterwards, and will save you quite a bit of money, so why not research it?
If you?ve gotten by for this long without musketmen, well then why not get by for a little longer without them?
Hence, I recommend getting to Spirit Level under Economy, because that?s the last boost to reducing building costs. Reduced building costs always a wonderful thing.
Once you have that under your belt, okay go ahead and get your musketmen and steam giants now. And might as well get mortars while you?re at it.
Where you go from here is up to you. But me, I?d suggesting getting bureaucracy, utopia, and then focusing on scientific futures for further boosts to the amount of research points your scientists produce.
Lastly, I?ll say that while research is obviously important, I?ll also say not to focus too much on academies to start with. You should focus on building up your towns so that you completely fill the mill and luxury resource, and having a decent defense to begin with. Once those are in place, then you should focus on increasing your academies as high as possible, as well as further increasing your population to support your scientists.
That?s part of why I recommend getting to experiments, so you can push along research even if your academies are low in level.
My new account in Ny, for instance.. I barely have much gold to support my scientists at the moment.. I?m in the process of sloooowly building up my populations and still I?m a bit far off from being able to fill my mill and luxury resource..
..But I do produce an excess of wine.. which I can sell either utilizing my trading post and then purchase crystal with that money. Or simply trading my wine 1:1 for crystal with fellow alliance members.. and then obviously dumping that crystal into my academy when I?m able.